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35th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards Ceremony Set for May 3; Anna Deavere Smith & Tim Sanford Receive Special Honors

35th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards Ceremony Set for May 3; Anna Deavere Smith & Tim Sanford Receive Special Honors

Details were announced today for the 35th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway. The Awards will be handed out on Sunday, May 3, 2020 at NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts, beginning at 7:00pm EST. The Lucille Lortel Awards are produced by the Off-Broadway League and the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation. Nominations will be announced on Thursday, April 2.

Among the special honors this year - the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Tim Sanford, who recently announced he will be stepping down as Artistic Director of Playwrights Horizons in July 2020. Through 24 years leading the institution, Sanford has transformed Playwrights Horizons into one of the country's foremost non-profit producers of bold new plays and musicals. Profiling Sanford, The Los Angeles Times theater critic, Charles McNulty, wrote that "Playwrights Horizons has been quite simply the most important crucible for contemporary playwriting in America."

Playwrights' Sidewalk honoree, Anna Deavere Smith, is credited with having created a new form of theater. Her work combines the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the art of interpreting their words through performance. Her play, Notes from the Field, was included in The New York Times list of The Best Theater of 2016 and Time magazine named it one of the Top 10 Plays of that year. She was a runner up for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Fires in the Mirror, which was presented by Signature Theater this past November. Twilight: Los Angeles 1992, written about the 1992 Los Angeles riots, was named one of the best plays of the last twenty-five years by The New York Times and will be revived by Signature this April.

Members of the general public are welcome to attend the 7:00 PM ceremony. Public tickets are $75.00 and will be available starting April 2, via phone at 212-998-4941, online at and in person at the Skirball Center's Shagan Box Office (556 LaGuardia Pl.) from Tuesday - Saturday from 12 - 6 PM, up until two hours before showtime.

The Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway were created in 1985 by the Off-Broadway League. The Lortel Awards recognize excellence in Off-Broadway by honoring the invaluable contribution of artists to the theatre community. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors' Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee. Awards may be given in the following categories: Play, Musical, Solo Show, Revival, Alternative Theatrical Experience, Director, Choreographer, Lead Actor and Actress in a Play and Musical, Featured Actor and Actress in a Play and Musical, Scenic, Costume, Lighting, Sound, and Projection Design. The following honorary awards may also be given: Lifetime Achievement Award, Body of Work (awarded to an institution), Edith Oliver Service to Off-Broadway Award and induction onto the Playwrights' Sidewalk in front of the historic Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City. For more information, please see

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